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Simple rules adhered to when children are young can prevent more serious problems later.

If you (parents) tend to overreact to your child's misbehaviour - your child learns that he can't trust you. Mom, Dad, stay regulated!

You cannot reason with someone who is being unreasonable.

Parents are the external regulator for kids who cannot regulate themselves.

If it  was going to be easy to raise kids, it never would have started with something called "labour".

Many clinicians find it easier to tell parents their child has a brain-based disorder than suggest parenting changes. Jennifer Harris (psychiatrist)

Removing a child from a traumatic environment does not remove the trauma from the child's memory.

If you are headed in the wrong direction as a parent - you are allowed to make a U-turn.

"To be a man, a boy must see a man."  (J.R. Moehringer)

We should not medicate the boys so they fit the school; we should change the school to fit the boy. (Leonard Sax, M.D. Ph.D)

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Homework Hassles (part 1)

 

 

Homework can be a major source of conflict between children and parents. Some children are avoiders, some procastinators, some fail to bring their work home and some do as little as possible. Some do  it too fast and carelessly and some take too long. Frequent battles over homework are harmful to healthy family life.

Homework serves two purposes:

  1. to provide opportunities to practice and improve skills
  2. to teach responsibility, self discipline, independence, perseverance and time management

It is my belief that purpose # 2 is more important than purpose # 1.

It is critical to remember that there are 3 players involved in doing homework and each has their own set of responsibilities.

a) Teacher’s responsibility

  1. to ensure the work is within the child’s ability
  2. to ensure the work is not just “busy work”
  3. to appreciate the child’s need for balance in his life
  4. to monitor the quality of the work
  5. to provide feedback to the student
  6. to reinforce homework completion
  7. to keep the parent informed

b) Parent’s responsibilty

  1. to provide a place (distraction free, adequate lighting, appropriate materials)
  2. to establish a routine
  3. to ensure there is enough time
  4. develop a rapport with the teacher
  5. request a homework book
  6. provide assistance as needed
  7. set a good example (eg. turn the TV off and read)

c) Child’s responsibility

  1. bring home the homework
  2. make a good effort
  3. ask for help if needed
  4. return completed work to school

The following general principles should apply to homework issues:

  • homework is between the child and the teacher
  • the completing of homework is the child’s responsibility – not the parent’s
  • the parent is the helper or facilitator

If homework hassles are occurring, it means that someone is not taking care of their responsibility and the “system” is out of balance. In such situations I recommend that the adults involved (parents and teacher) sit down together and review each player’s responsibilities. Determine where the imbalance is being created and don’t be surprised if all 3 players have missed the mark in some way. It is at this time that the adults make any adjustments within their areas of responsibility before the child’s responsibility can be addressed.

My next posting will provide the next steps in solving homework hassles. (I recommend a book by  Robert  MacKenzie called “Setting Limits in the Classroom” as this book was the primary source of information)

Rick Harper has been providing ideas to parents for over 40 years.

 

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Workshops

+ Behaviour Management

This full day or 2 evening workshop will introduce you […]

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+ Lick Your Kids

  “Lick Your Kids” (figuratively not literally) (2 hours) First […]

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+ A Parent’s Guide to the Teenage Brain

  A teenager’s brain is not just an adult brain […]

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+ Reading Rescue

A program for children with reading problems

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+ Taming a Toddler

Many parents wonder what hit them when their sweet little baby turns into an unreasonable toddler – ideas for dealing with mealtime, bedtime, temper tanturms, toilet training, noncompliance, etc.

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2720 Rath Street, Putnam, Ontario
NOL 2BO

Phone: (519) 485-4678
Fax: (519) 485-0281

Email: info@rickharper.ca

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Parents' Comments

“Our daughter was the joy of our life until she turned 13, then all hell broke loose. Rick helped us understand what was happening to her and we made some adjustments that helped us get through it. She’s now in University and doing well.”

(D.A. – St. Thomas)